Canada: Housing starts nudge up in March
April 9, 2013
According to the government-owned Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), seasonally adjusted annualized housing starts inched up to 184,000 units in March, which was up 0.4% from a revised 183,200 units in February (previously reported: 178,000 units). The reading came in above market expectations that had housing starts moderating to 175,000 units.
The 6-month moving average declined for the sixth straight month and fell 3.4% over the previous month, from 196,300 units in February to 189,700 units in March. According to the CMHC, "as expected, the trend continued to moderate in March. Builders are adjusting to lower housing demand and as a result, completed and unoccupied units per capita remain relatively close to their historical average".
According to its Q1 Housing Market Outlook, the CMHC estimates that housing starts will reach 190,300 units in 2013 and 194,100 units in 2014. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants are less optimistic and expect 180,000 housing starts in 2013. For 2014, the panel anticipates housing starts also at 180,000.